Firsts. Beginnings. First day of school, first job, first car, first date… the firsts go on, probably until we die. Life should be made of firsts, it keeps things interesting. Well that’s what I tell myself as I clean my kitchen for the 8,000,000,000 time this week. (Slight exaggeration, but you get my point.)
I have seen my boys’ first steps, first tooth, first word, first night sleeping thru the night (Can I get a hallelujah?!) I have also seen their first ouchies, their first hurt feelings, their first “I’m sorry”, their first “I love you” without being coached. (Ummm, MELT ME!)
Firsts can be scary and painful, but they can also be good.
I remember my first date. He will remain nameless and without description as he is not who I married, but I remember not really knowing how a date even was supposed to go! (I was the youngest after 5 boys.) I remember the butterflies and the excitement, but I also remember with sadness the girl I was then.
I remember my first job. I worked at a thrift store, waiting for the local bent and dent store to open it’s new, larger store. I enjoyed my job, and was good at what I did. My first exposure to workplace drama and that set the tone for never handling cat claws from females in a good way ever since. I shut down and always end up wishing I had stepped up.
I remember the first car I bought. I hated it. I remember the second car better, more my style and I had big dreams for it. Sadly, it met its end at my hand after kissing a telephone pole. Which brings me to my next first.
My first accident. My first list could go on for a long time. And I hope yours could to.
I mentioned in another post I am married. We were married in 2010. We spent a week in Tennessee and had fun sightseeing and learning to know each other. That’s where he learned exactly how angry I can get when you throw a spider at me. I learned that he is not a night owl. AT ALL. Also he learned I am not a morning person. (Opposites really do attract, folks!)
We had our first son a year and a few months later. We took one small trip to Virginia for a cousin’s wedding but other than yearly trips to see his family in Wisconsin, we have never taken a “real” vacation. Two years ago, we were invited to the beach with 3 other couples and we went, but I mean a vacation just our family. We just don’t. Something that bothers me, yet I tried to stop nagging him about it because we also don’t travel well together.
This past summer, we went to Ohio and visited family. And on that trip, we had a first. Other than a few disagreements on food places (the opposites thing is REAL in this relationship!) there were NO FIGHTS!!!! NONE!
So feeling bold, we went to the beach this past weekend. Some frustration when we arrived and realized it was bike week and hotel rooms were hard to find, but we worked together and found a great hotel room. We had a great time together as a family, with both of us in tune and loving the moments.
We went out to eat, mini golfing, and sight seeing. We enjoyed the sand and the water, well a majority of us. C, 2, asked when the water would go night night. He did enjoy playing with a dump truck and bulldozer in the sand, far away from the “big water” as he called it. And I could sit in my chair, with my toes in the sand enjoying the sounds and smells of the beach. Letting my stress and worries go, being in tune and in the moment right there, in my happy place, with my 3 boys.
On the way home, we stopped at a beautiful park in Delaware and saw big ships and the boys walked along the shoreline and admired the ships and sailboats, and talked about big fish and seashells.
Firsts. Not all of them are pleasant or funny. Some are painful and awful. I remember those times too. Some are regrettable and you wonder “WHY?” when you remember them. Sometimes these memories keep me humble. And sometimes these memories and firsts experiences serve a bigger purpose. To learn and grow from. Painful business, this growing up is. But as much as I may joke about never doing it, in some circumstances its the necessary and healthy thing to do.
We spent so much of our 7 years together not in harmony. He had his friends, I had mine. We rarely did things with our son together. We smiled and pretended to be happy for our families and church, but at home we were anything but at peace, happy, or even in love.
I still am not the woman who gushes incessantly about her husband. I do love him and appreciate him. I do not wish to make so much money that he can retire. I mean, yeah to the money part but he would never be happy without a job. NEVER. Idle hands make my husband a grump! He does take off from that need and drive to work. I smiled many times this weekend, and some of the biggest smiles were watching him talk to his sons about machines and construction equipment. He talked about whether he had fixed one like that, or not. They both, 6 and 2, love hearing him relate his work stories. And I love watching and hearing them reenact his stories when they play.
I am the woman with strong opinions, who chooses to first love her husband, then address the thing that evokes said strong opinion. Most days, there are still (many) days that I fail. Growing has not been my favorite part of life as the years continue on, but as I look back on the various firsts I am glad I have. I am glad to smile with genuine love behind it. I am glad to look at my husband and be grateful for the night I realized I was in love with him. He is the man God chose for me, I have known that from day 1 of our marriage. He is my forever and I am glad to be his.
And on the love thing and finally finding our happy after too many years of not, I am happy to add that the feeling is mutual.
“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
“Love bears all things, believes, all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7